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Understanding The Sanctity of Marriage (Exodus 20:14)

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The First Marriage

The first marriage took place in the Garden of Eden between Adam and Eve in Genesis 2:18-25. God created Adam first out of the ground and Eve’s body out of a rib from Adam.

Both are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26) and share equality in dignity and worth, yet they differ in roles. Adam is to keep and protect his bride. Eve is to submit and love her husband.

But, Adam failed to protect his wife and blamed Eve for her their sin (cf. Genesis 3:1-8).

In this first marriage, it is shown that marriage is: from God, for one man and one woman, and as a faithful covenant.

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“Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh,” (Genesis 2:24, ESV). What God has joined together, let none separate (Mark 10:9).

The Gospel and Marriage

But unlike Adam, Jesus shields us from the enemy. Adam blames his bride, but Jesus takes the blame for His bride, the church, and saves her.

Though we often go astray, He will never remove His commitment to us (John 10:28-30). 2 Timothy 2:13 says, “If we are faithless, he remains faithful,” (ESV). This is the beauty of the New Covenant (i.e. new testament).

God has committed Himself to us in Christ and never to break our union with Him. Jesus then is the second, or the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45, ESV).

Marriage matters because it is a reflection of the gospel. Paul states it emphatically that marriage “refers to Christ and the church,” (Ephesians 5:32, ESV).

Marriage suffered in the garden and drove us from God’s presence. But Jesus suffered away from God’s presence to bring us back to the garden.

Therefore, marital fidelity, purity, and commitment are earthly pictures of the heavenly reality of Christ and the church (cf. Ephesians 5:22-33). Marriage is patterned to display the glory of Christ’s love for His church.

Jesus will never forsake His elect. He will forever be committed to His church.

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Our Lord will never sin against or divorce His precious people for the sake of His great name. Jesus Christ then is the faithful husband (cf. Isaiah 54:5) and we are the spiritual adulterers (cf. Ezekiel 16:15-19; James 4:4-5).

A Call to Honoring Marriage

It is no accident that perhaps one of the greatest passages on marriage in the Bible, Ephesians 5:22-33, is next door to one of the greatest passages on spiritual warfare, Ephesians 6:10-20.

Likewise is it any wonder then, that the first of the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20) commands us to have no other gods before Him (Exodus 20:3) and subsequently the seventh commandment commands us to “not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14, ESV).

He who treasures the Lord first will cherish his wife well. The Lord chose to include marital fidelity and holiness in the 10 Commandments to display the high view of marriage that exists in the heart of God.

In a world where marriage is looked upon no more serious than a dinner reservation, Christians must honor and cherish their marriages.

Your identity in Christ will protect your marriage from loss and decay. So husbands, love your wives. Wives, submit to your husbands.

Every marriage on earth exists to represent Christ and the church. The question is not if your marriage is a reflection of the gospel, but is it reflecting the gospel properly.

As Christ remains united and one with His chosen people, so you must remain united and one with your chosen marriage. Marital love is not primarily a feeling but a faithful commitment to your spouse.

Christians magnify marriage when they treasure the worth of Christ.

May those who said ‘I do’ remain as faithful as the ‘I AM.’

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Cale is the pastor of Union Baptist Church in Orrick, MO. He is married to his wife Kelly and they have two children (third on the way!). Cale will be graduating with a Masters degree from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary this Fall and Spring 2023.
Cale is the pastor of Union Baptist Church in Orrick, MO. He is married to his wife Kelly and they have two children (third on the way!). Cale will be graduating with a Masters degree from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary this Fall and Spring 2023.




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